hist-brewing: Historical Mead

Cindy Renfrow renfrow at skylands.net
Wed Jul 7 18:18:41 PDT 1999


Hello! These quotes from Digby show him using the combs to sweeten the
liquid, but he washes the combs in COLD water, not boiling water, and then
strains the liquid to remove the wax.

Wouldn't boiling the 'angry bees' make the liquid bitter?

"Make your Metheglin as soon as ever you take your Bees; for if you wash
your combs in the water you boil your herbs in, when it is cold, it will
sweeten much.  But you must afterwards strain it through a cloth, or else
there will be much wax." (Digby, The Closet ... Opened, #75.)

# 85  TO MAKE HONEY DRINK - 1669
To two quarts of water take one pound of Honey.  When it boileth, skim it
clean as long as any scum ariseth; boil it a pretty while; then take it off
the fire, and put it in an earthen pot, and let it stand till the next day;
then put it into clean bottles, that are throughly dry, rinsing first every
bottle with a little of the liquor; Fill them not too full, and put into
every bottle four or five Cloves, and four or five slices of Ginger:  and
stop it very close, and set it in Sand; and within ten or twelve days it
will be ready to drink.
	Some, when they take their Bees, put the honey-combs into
fair-water, and make it so strong of the honey that it will bear an Egg;
and then boil it with some Spice, and put it into a barrel:  but I think it
not so good, as that which is made of pure honey.  (ibid.)

Regards,


Cindy Renfrow
renfrow at skylands.net
Author & Publisher of "Take a Thousand Eggs or More, A Collection of 15th
Century Recipes" and "A Sip Through Time, A Collection of Old Brewing
Recipes"
http://www.alcasoft.com/renfrow/




>I've been thinking about  trying the following historically accurate mead
>recipe (with one deviation):
>Obtain a whole honeycomb from an apiary- about 20# or so.
>Boil it in water for about 45 minutes, skimming the wax, scum and dead bees.
>Cool, and
>Pitch yeast (deviation, according to period)
>
>After reading in Buhner's "Sacred and Herbal Healing Beers", where he
>describes the medicinal affects of many indigenous herbs and hive products
>(propolis, royal jelly, honey, pollen and bee venom) I've been rather keen to
>try boiling up a whole comb, angry bees and all.
>
>Anybody with me on this?
>
>Eric Fouch, PDTL
>"..but you never know, until you know."
>                                                -Dr. Pivo
>
>
>
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